BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, June 25, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister)– The Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), through its Embassy in Basseterre, has made a substantial financial contribution towards the Old Road Bay Rehabilitation Project that will result in significantly enhanced safety and security for road users along the 1.2 kilometer stretch of road.
Resident Taiwanese Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Tom Lee, presented the cheque on behalf of his Government to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis during a brief ceremony held at the Office of the Prime Minister today, Tuesday, June 25.
The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; Minister responsible for Public Infrastructure, the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd; Cabinet Secretary, Mrs. Josephine Huggins; Chief Personnel Officer, Mrs. Torfrida Rochester; Director of the Public Works Department, Mr. Cromwell Williams, and Minister Michael Lin of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Prime Minister Harris stated that over the years, there has been much talk about addressing the issue of safety along the Old Road Bay Road—talks that had not materialized into action until the advent of the Team Unity administration.
The prime minister added that, “Each time there is a significant climatic change, and in particular the advent of hurricanes, the Western corridor of the country becomes disconnected starting at Old Road and this makes it difficult then for one to traverse from Old Road to Basseterre or any other point beyond Old Road into Basseterre.”
Prime Minister Harris further recalled that after the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September of 2017, the Old Road Bay Road became completely impassable for vehicular traffic, resulting in commuters having to endure a much longer journey and users of public transport having to incur higher fares to and from Basseterre.
“The Government said that would be the last time and I am happy that we are now realizing that reality,” Dr. Harris stated. “As you pass along the Old Road Bay now you can see significant transformation already taking place. Lands are being reclaimed, the road butting out towards the sea et cetera, and all of that is to improve the safety and resilience of our country in particular the Western side of our country should there be…a significant storm.”
In presenting the cheque, Ambassador Lee indicated that he too has traversed along the Old Road Bay Road on many occasions and as such, understands the urgent need for completing this important project.
He added, “The Republic of China (Taiwan) is a strong ally of St. Kitts and Nevis and we are always willing to stand by your side and provide timely assistance to what you need, and we are very pleased to work with your Government and [to be able] to make a contribution to this project.”
The Old Road Bay Road is being extended on reclaimed land and will be approximately 24 feet apart from the existing road. It will also be elevated some 15 feet above the current road level with guard rails on both sides. The seaside protection will include strong rock armouring similar to the protection at Port Zante. The construction work is being carried out by local company Rock & Dirt Construction Ltd.